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Apple Finally Releases Aperture 3

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A month ago I vented about Aperture 2’s stagnation, and many of you rallied along with me. Well everyone can stow their torches and pitchforks — Aperture 3 has finally been released today by Apple (s aapl). With over 200 new features, the latest version of Apple’s professional photo processing and organization software should have something to please everyone.

The fairly obvious improvements like Faces, Places and 64-bit architecture (for Snow Leopard users with Core 2 Duo Processors) are there, of course. But there are so many cool new features — I won’t touch on all of them here — I had to mention a few.

  • Backup on Import Smart & necessary!
    Automatically back up your master images to a second drive during import, freeing you from the need to perform a separate, manual backup.
  • Color Labels
    Apply up to eight different color-coded labels to images to organize and group them. Add a custom name for each color label in Aperture preferences. Simple keyboard shortcuts allow you to apply labels using the keyboard.
  • Fast Library Switching
    Close one Aperture library and open another on the fly by selecting the desired library from the Switch to Library submenu — no need to quit and restart Aperture.
  • Focus Points
    Hover over the Focus Points button in the Camera Info pane to see the focus points used by your camera to autofocus the image. You can also click the button to turn the display of focus points on or off.
  • Nondestructive Brushes YES!!!!
    Make nondestructive image enhancements to specific areas of any photo using new adjustment brushes. Use brush strokes to modify — brush in or brush away — most of the standard image adjustments available in the Adjustments inspector. You can control the size, softness, and strength of each brush with intuitive sliders.
  • Create Multiple Instances of Adjustments
    Apply multiple adjustments of a single type to different parts of an image by creating multiple adjustment bricks for each adjustment. For example, set one Levels adjustment to create the perfect sky. Then add another Levels adjustment brick to selectively perfect skin tones. To add a new instance of an adjustment, choose the Add New option from the Action pop-up menu in each adjustment brick.
  • Support for GPS Track Logs
    In Aperture, you can easily assign locations to photos by importing the track log from a GPS receiver. Then simply drag photos onto the track to have Aperture sync the photos to the location data in the track log. You can also reset the time zone of the track in Aperture.

So yeah, that’s maybe more than a few features I listed, but believe me, there’s plenty to get excited about with Aperture 3. Try it out for free for 30 days, and then if you’re upgrading, pay $99, or $199 for a new user license. (If you’re thinking about picking Aperture up, check out the new ‘in-action’ videos of it here.) We can breathe easy, folks — it looks like our day has finally come.

26 Responses to “Apple Finally Releases Aperture 3”

  1. One of my main bug-bears with Aperture 2 was that it did not (officially at least) support storing your master images on a network drive. Given that I have several terabytes of raw files, I would rather keep them on a NAS, where they are on a RAID6 array, and are automatically backed up to another NAS in a different location. Has Aperture 3 fixed this deficiency?

  2. I just bought ( a month ago) Aperture 2 – now they will want another £75 to upgrade – upgrade should be free if just bought – as they knew it was about to be released when they took my money…..Have asked – no-one replies

    • Geez there are a bunch of whiney bitches on this blog. Quit crying about paying a few hundred dollars for amazing software. Apple obviously has a business to run if they advertised new versions of any product in advance of its launch nobody would ever buy anything. Aperture used to cost $600 when it first came out. This software is amazing and you should just be stoked it came out and we all get to use it!

      Aperture 3 looks awesome!

    • To Graham C. I used to work at Apple store. They don’t tell retail employees when new products are coming out so there was no misleading going on.Besides that’s technology in general…things change.

    • Just called Apple to moan about this and got put through to customer relations – got a £21 discount off the £79 online price. Not the best result but at least its a gesture..

  3. John the Greek

    Darn, and I spend half a day making Aperture understand Canon S90 raw files.

    Darn again, since I paid for the Aperture two weeks ago, now I have to pay another $99 for the upgrade.

  4. adam jackson

    Finally! I moved to a completely RAW workflow in the past year and Photoshop CS4 is just too much for the minor edits that I do to photos. I stuck with iPhoto as a library management tool because of Faces & Places.

    Just bought Aperture. YES!!!! It’s going to look beautiful on my 27″ iMac w/ 24″ Dell LCD off to the side.

    • Adam
      I am considering buying a new iMac 27 inch. When you get pics perfect on that screen, do the print correctly?
      I also have photoshop CS4 and it just takes too long to edit things.

    • I have the 27″ and find print is close to the image on the screen. Have read on other blogs that some find it needs calibrating.
      I too have CS4. Aperture doesn’t hold a candle to it. Unfair to compare the two.

  5. That is excellent news! Thanks TAB for bringing this to our attention so quickly. I’ve always found Aperture/iPhoto integration kind of fiddly, so very happy at being able to use Places + Faces right within Aperture. Plus the brush editing means I can now make pretty much any adjustment I need right there in front of a client, with my Aperture library open. Excellent stuff.